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How to focus group shots with 35mm lens?

edited April 2015 Posted in » Nikon D5100 Forum
I'm shooting in Manual mode and learning how to shoot a portrait. The problem is that I get only 1-2 faces in proper focus, while 1-2 faces become a little out of focus (while taking group pictures).

Can you tell me how to avoid such problem?


  • edited April 2015
    The out of focus blur that is so desirable in a single portrait is not appropriate for multiple people. Depth of field is directly dependent on aperture. Close down the lens, and more will be in focus. If you're shooting now at f/1.8 or thereabouts, switch to f/8, set your shutter speed and ISO as needed, and try that. To simplify the setting, you can switch to A mode and just set the aperture. When you find one that works, switch back to M mode, duplicate that setting, and compensate for shadows and such by varying that setting. Beyond f/11, although you still gain depth of field, you begin to lose some overall sharpness to diffraction. It is still sometimes a good trade, but try to stay around f/8 or so if you can.

    If you're trying to get many different distances in focus at once, try to set your center focus somewhat closer than the middle of the depth you want. More will be in focus behind the main subject than in front, so, for example, if you are trying to catch a variety of subjects between 10 and 20 feet away, try to focus, not on 15 feet (the center point) but about 13.
  • edited April 2015
    Thank you so much for such nice explanation. I really can visualize my mistake's after reading your suggestion. Thank you again. :)
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